Silent Night

December 24, 2001

All is calm.

The kids are asleep upstairs, my wife is off to midnight church. The stockings are hung by the chimney, the presents are under the tree. As I sit here alone with my thoughts, thankful for these blessings, I pray for those truly alone in this world, for those who didn't make it this far this year, for those living in parts of the world who know not the peace of this hour.

Tonight, like millions of other spiritual people, I join in celebration of a wondrous metaphor--that of the Virgin Birth, the divine energy made manifest into flesh. At times, it can seem like a challenging celebration, for once born into flesh, we are born into a world of pain and loss, of suffering and death--a world where cancer can ravage the body from within, where terrorism can destroy the lives of innocents, where war between neighbors can rage for centuries, where hunger can scourge a continent. The first precept of Buddhism states that all life is sorrowful. And yet--

There is joy in the struggle--in finding love and sharing love, in channeling that divine energy through one another to create new life in the world, to feel the touch of death on one's shoulder and smile even more contentedly as the sun rises over the water to start a new day. For the holy silence of this night and this season is always there inside of us, if we attune ourselves to hear it. Zen masters call it the sound of one hand clapping.

Good night, loved ones. The Saviour is born.

Sleep in heavenly peace.

Sleep in heavenly peace.